The effects of homelessness on Veterans' health care service use: An evaluation of independence from comorbidities

J. P. LePage, L. D. Bradshaw, D. J. Cipher, A. M. Crawford, D. Hoosyhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study evaluates the prevalence of Multiple Comorbid Chronic Disease (MCCD) within homeless and non-homeless Veterans and the association between MCCD and inpatient medical care. Methods: All individuals seen in the VA North Texas Health Care System between October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2010 (n = 102,034) were evaluated. Homelessness during the year and the number of common chronic diseases were evaluated for an association with likelihood of medical and psychiatric hospitalizations, bed days of care, inpatient substance treatment, rehabilitation admissions, and emergency department visits. Results: Homeless Veterans had higher all-cause mortality rates and rates of use of almost all resources after controlling for chronic disease burden using the Charlson Comorbidity Index, psychiatric illnesses, substance use disorders, and demographic variables. Conclusions: Homelessness Veterans are vulnerable to a high use of resources and mortality, independent of medical and psychiatric conditions. This finding should focus additional attention on reducing homelessness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)985-992
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014



  • Bed days of care
  • Chronic medical diseases
  • Emergency department treatment
  • Homelessness
  • Hospitalization
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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